Social media has made it easier than ever for your customers to interact on a personal level with your business. While some business owners lament the ease with which a handful of negative customers can damage a business’s reputation, proactive business owners will see social media as an opportunity. Instead of fearing negative customers on social media, you can take advantage of social media to turn dissatisfied customers into happy customers. In other words, you can use social media as a powerful customer service tool.
Here are 5 ways that you can implement social media as a proactive customer service tool:
- Create a special account for your social media sites specific to customer service. You can first contact customers with a concern through your main account and notify them that someone from your customer service account will be contacting them soon. Use a private message when the time comes to address the concern. This will allow the customer the consideration of privacy and keep your social media timeline free of clutter.
- Respond to concerns as soon as possible. If you have a social media account, people will expect a timely response. A good rule of thumb for a social media account is to respond to comments, questions or complaints within five minutes. While you may not be able to immediately address the comment, you can at least acknowledge the customer and notify them that you’re working on a response.
- Make the experience as personal as possible. Sign your responses with your name. Customers will appreciate knowing that they are dealing with a real person and not an automated response. Also, you want people to be able to identify with your company on a personal level. It will show them that you are listening to their concerns and capable of addressing them. In a world where businesses are impersonal and automated, a personal message on social networks is refreshing.
- Be friendly, helpful and professional. Acknowledge the concern of your customers and let them know that you’ll work with them to resolve the issue. Think of each interaction as an opportunity to help a customer and at the same time nurture new leads. Each time someone sees how responsive you are to a concern, you’ll be building the trust of your social media followers.
- Set up a system of accountability. Keep track of all customer service interactions over social media so that you will know their status. You can use this tracking information to improve your overall level of customer service. It can also be a valuable tool to help identify areas of your business that need improvement.
As you can see, social media can be a powerful customer service resource. It can help break down barriers of communication and allow you to interact with your customers on a personal level. Finally, serving your customers on a personal level will help build customer relationships and also provide you with valuable insights into how to improve your business as a whole.